pro Gorka Marquez has revealed he came close to quitting.
, 33, who , has become one of the most popular names on the show, finishing as runner-up on three occasions.
Last year he and partner got all the way to the final, only to be pipped at the post by winner Hamza Yassin and his partner Jowita Przystal.
But he’s now admitted that he nearly didn’t return for the 2023 edition of the dancing competition after missing out on valuable family time last year.
Gorka recently – two-month-old Thiago, whom he shares with former model and influencer Gemma Atkinson, 38.
And Thiago’s birth appears to have given Gorka serious pause for thought when it came down to deciding whether to return for the new Strictly series.
‘It’s quite heart-breaking, you know, to have to leave again a few days after Gemma gives birth and not be at home,’ he said on Life Behind the Lens.
The Strictly professional had to leave Gemma and baby Thiago behind in the couple’s home city Manchester to begin rehearsals for the upcoming episodes.
‘In my head, it makes me think I want to quit and just be at home for the next three months, but at the same time, I need to do my job and work.’
This isn’t the first time he’s been forced to miss the earliest days of one of his children’s lives due to work commitments.
When the couple’s daughter Mia, 4, was born in July 2019, Gorka took a year off from the series as Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher won the Strictly glitterball.
Thankfully, the three-time Strictly finalist was able to be there for Thiago’s birth as Gemma endured a 28-hour labour and eventually delivered via caesarean.
Watch Strictly Come Dancing from September 23 on the BBC.